Barbaroslar Episode 27 English Subtitles

Barbaroslar Episode 27 English Subtitles

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The Ottoman empire Part 13

As the sultans lost out in the struggle for domestic political supremacy, they sought new tools and techniques for maintaining their political presence. Beginning in the early eighteenth century, for example, the central state reorganized the pilgrimage routes to the Holy Cities to enhance its legitimacy and consolidate power (see chapter 6).

(It is, however, is unclear if the sultan or other figures at the center initiated
this action.) Developments during the so-called Tulip Period (1718–30)
more certainly illustrate the subtle means that sultans used to prop up
their legitimacy.

This Tulip Period, a time of extraordinary experimentation in Ottoman history, was so named by a twentieth-century historian after its frequent tulip breeding competitions. The tulip symbolized both
conspicuous consumption and cross-cultural borrowings since it was an
item of exchange between the Ottoman Empire, west Europe, and East Asia.

Sultan Ahmet III and his Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha (married to Fatma, the Sultan’s daughter), as part of their effort to negotiate power, employed the weapon of consumption to dominate the Istanbul elites.
As the court of King Louis XIV at Versailles, of the Tulip Period was one of sumptuous consumption – in the Ottoman case not only of tulips but also art, cooking, luxury goods, clothing, and the building of
pleasure palaces.

With this new tool – the consumption of goods – the sultan and grand vizier sought to control the vizier and pasha households in the manner of King Louis, who compelled nobles to live at the Versailles
seat of power and join in financially ruinous balls and banquets. Sultan
Ahmet and Ibrahim Pasha tried to lead the Istanbul elites in consumption, establishing themselves at the social center as models for emulation.

By leading in consumption, they sought to enhance their political status
and legitimacy as well. Later in the eighteenth century, other sultans frequently used clothing laws in a similar effort to maintain or enhance legitimacy and power.

Clothing laws – a standard feature of Ottoman and other pre-modern societies – stipulated the dress, of both body and head, that persons of different ranks, religions, and occupations should wear. For example, Muslims
were told that only they could wear certain colors and fabrics that were forbidden to Christians and Jews who, for their part, were ordered to wear other colors and materials.

By enacting or enforcing clothing laws, or appearing to do so, sultans presented themselves as guardians of the
boundaries differentiating their subjects, as the enforcers of morality, order, and justice. Through these laws, the rulers acted to place themselves as arbitrators in the jostlings for a social place, seeking to reinforce their
legitimacy as sovereigns, at a time when they neither commanded armies
nor led the bureaucracy (see also chapter 8).

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